During their first meeting of 2018, the Board of Directors of the India, Brazil and South Africa Facility for Poverty and Hunger Alleviation (IBSA Fund) approved a new digital finance project in Sierra Leone.
This new project aims to provide 100,000 unbanked Sierra Leone farmers, of which 40% are women, with access to financial services that can be used to access better health care and education, manage emergencies, and buy energy. With currently only 13% of the population having access to financial institutions but 85% of the population owning cell phones, digital finance payments and literacy and will save time and money for farmers who can avoid travelling long distances to make payments.
Sierra Leone will participate in curated peer exchange and learning visits with Southern countries working on digital agendas to pilot digital finance products such as savings accounts, mobile credit, and insurance. They aim to eventually scale the pilots to the national level, and develop the policy and technical support frameworks of the Central Bank of Sierra Leone in order to promote innovation and enforce regulation.
The Implementing partners of this project are the Central Bank of Sierra Leone and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).
This project will add to the extensive portfolio of the multi-million-dollar IBSA Fund, which has become a remarkable example of development cooperation in partnership with the United Nations and is leading to impactful results in the Global South.